Kannur: A new attraction has been opened in Kannur – a museum dedicated to former Chief Minister of Kerala the late E K Nayanar. Inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the museum in the Nayanar Academy houses various objects used by Nayanar and the biggest attraction is a life-size silicone statue of the revered CPM leader.
Nayanar’s study at Sarada’s, his house at Kalliasseri in Kannur, has been thoughtfully recreated at the museum, located at Burnassery. The exhibit shows Nayanar sitting with a pen at the same table he used in his house.
Another highlight of the museum is a facility for visitors to virtually communicate with an image of Nayanar through hologram technology. Visitors can ask 10 questions related to the leader’s life and they would receive replies from Nayanar’s lifelike image in his trademark accent.
Photos and caricatures dealing with the main incidents mentioned in Nayanar’s autobiography are also displayed on the walls of the museum. Unique photos of Nayanar and audio-video presentations on his life are other attractions. Among the pictures are those related to the late leader’s ancestral house, education, politics, prison sentence, days spent in hiding and terms as chief minister.
The museum has arranged screenings of ‘Mukhyamanthriyodu Chodikkam’, a popular television programme telecast when Nayanar was the chief minister where the public could ask him questions and receive suitable replies.
The museum has been designed by Vinod Daniel, a sculptor who has done similar work at some renowned museums around the world. Vinod is presently the chairman of AusHeritage, an Australia-based agency engaged in preserving historical monuments in several countries. Others associated with Nayanar Museum include actor and filmmaker Shankar Ramakrishnan, who is the creative head; Santhosh Raman and Premachandran.
“We have taken care to arrange all items at Sarada’s at the same positions in the museum too. They include the late leader’s reclining chair, books, the table and the sculpture of two tuskers fighting each other,” said Vinod.
Similarly, Nayanar’s old table-fan, telephone and clock are kept nearby – as at his house.
A curious exhibit is a bunch of boarding passes of Indian Airlines and Jet Airways which were preserved by Nayanar after each of his flight trips. “The passes indicate that Nayanar travelled in economy class, which shows how humble he was. Moreover, these two airlines no longer exist and the passes are a part of aviation history too,” said Vinod.
Another floor of the museum houses an orientation theatre describing the farmers’ agitations in various parts of India. In addition, the museum displays life-like wax statues of Communist legends such as AKG, EMS, P Krishna Pillai, K Damodaran and N C Sekhar. The statues were created by sculptor Sunil Kundalloor.
The Nayanar Museum also has a gallery describing the history of the Communist Party and another one on martyrs.